DOOM – Xbox Live Arcade
In the nineties, gaming as it was known was on the verge of a change. Things were coming out at this time were molding the very fabric of the industry’s existence. Sega Genesis and its many add-ons were in a battle of epic proportions against a mighty Nintendo and their SNES, while parents and Congress members in the United States were crying out against graphic games for fear of what they’d do to the youth. One such game in that time was Doom by then fledgling developer, Id Software.
Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday’s program has been releasing mostly retro-styled classic games for download on the Live Arcade. When looking at releases like Street Fighter II,Hyper Fighting and Pac-Man, it’s not very surprising that this classic first person shooter would make its way onto the 360. Is this iteration of this revolutionary game worth 800 Marketplace points, or is it just the same ol’ pile of gibs?
As for the gameplay department, nothing’s changed from the very first time this game came to the market. In Doom, you’re a space marine stationed on Mars when some experiments led to the opening of the gates of Hell, bringing with it the unending armies of demons and other hell spawns bent on humanity’s destruction.
Seeing as though this is a first person shooter, the control scheme is extremely simple. You move your character with the left analog stick and you move the direction your character’s facing with the right analog stick. Holding the left trigger makes your character sprint, which is really helpful when you’re surrounded by Imps and the shotgun toting Former Human Sergeants, and the right trigger fires your weapon. To switch between weapons you can press B or Y to go to your previous or next weapon, respectively. The down button on the D-Pad also brings up a map.
The big selling point about buying this on the Marketplace is that it really is Ultimate Doom, which means you get four episodes to play. Another cool thing about this version is that it has Co-op Mode. Now you can play through the levels with someone over Xbox Live or with someone right next to you in split screen mode. With that addition, the gameplay does get a nice little boost.
To go even further with the multiplayer support, you can play against three other people over Xbox Live in some old fashioned deathmatch. Don’t worry; people who don’t have Live can play the standard deathmatch against three others in split screen mode.
Microsoft boasts that this game has enhanced sound and graphics, yet when playing it the game feels just like any other time playing through Doom, only this time it’s got the capability to be hooked up to an HDTV and 5.1 Surround Sound system. You can only “enhance” pixilated baddies so much and they’ll still look just like that, pixilated and dated, not that it’s a bad thing by any means. It’s just that any enhancements made are extremely hard to notice.
There is one technical problem with the game, though. There have been numerous reports of the game freezing up the 360 when trying to return to the main menu from the game. I’ve personally encountered this more than a handful of times. Why this was released with such a flaw is unknown to me, but a patch is definitely in order.
In terms of extras, there’s nothing here. The game has no special sections in it and there’s no downloadable content on Xbox Live Marketplace as of now, but there may be some in the future, according to the game detail page on Xbox.com.